The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Sunday, Hillwood, Cats

Bustopher Jones: The Cat About Town
By T.S. Eliot

Bustopher Jones is not skin and bones--
In fact, he's remarkably fat.
He doesn't haunt pubs--he has eight or nine clubs,
For he's the St. James's Street Cat!
He's the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street
In his coat of fastidious black:
No commonplace mousers have such well-cut trousers
Or such an impreccable back.
In the whole of St. James's the smartest of names is
The name of this Brummell of Cats;
And we're all of us proud to be nodded or bowed to
By Bustopher Jones in white spats!

His visits are occasional to the Senior Educational
And it is against the rules
For any one Cat to belong both to that
And the Joint Superior Schools.
For a similar reason, when game is in season
He is found, not at Fox's, but Blimpy's;
He is frequently seen at the gay Stage and Screen
Which is famous for winkles and shrimps.
In the season of venison he gives his ben'son
To the Pothunter's succulent bones;
And just before noon's not a moment too soon
To drop in for a drink at the Drones.
When he's seen in a hurry there's probably curry
At the Siamese--or at the Glutton;
If he looks full of gloom then he's lunched at the Tomb
On cabbage, rice pudding and mutton.

So, much in this way, passes Bustopher's day-
At one club or another he's found.
It can be no surprise that under our eyes
He has grown unmistakably round.
He's a twenty-five pounder, or I am a bounder,
And he's putting on weight every day:
But he's so well preserved because he's observed
All his life a routine, so he'll say.
Or, to put it in rhyme: "I shall last out my time"
Is the word of this stoutest of Cats.
It must and it shall be Spring in Pall Mall
While Bustopher Jones wears white spats!


Daniel is still gaming at MAGFest, so Paul, Cheryl, and I decided to go to Hillwood while the holiday decorations are still up. There was a surprisingly big tour group in the house and the Adirondack Building's photography exhibit, but since it was drizzling, the gardens were almost completely empty. Then we went to see Cats, which we had been conspiring to see together. I loved pretty much everything about it.

Some backstory: my parents saw Cats onstage in London when only musical nerds in the U.S. had heard of it. I heard Streisand's version of "Memory" before I heard Elaine Paige's, and I saw the show on Broadway in previews with my high school best friend (and again in Philadelphia, and then again in New York). So I have been waiting for a movie since Spielberg first suggested making an animated version.

I feel like the studio had no idea who the audience for this film was since all the people who saw the musical all those years ago are my age or older, and did a crappy job marketing it (and apparently should have postponed the release date to give Hooper time to finish the special effects so they'd be a tad more consistent). To be fair, I'm not sure it's possible to have made a successful film version in 2019.

But I also think the important singers, Hudson in particular, were excellent, the dancing was great, the sets were an improvement on the stage, the costumes were always a disaster so the CGI didn't bother me, and the two most famous actors (Dench and McKellen), while among the weaker singers, were a lot of fun. Sure, Grizabella's snotty nose was a weird choice, and the plot with Victoria was very thin, but it worked for me anyway.

After the movie, we went to Attman's Deli for dinner, then Cheryl headed home and Paul and I watched the New England-Tennessee game. We'd already seen the Bills lose in overtime while we were at the restaurant. I was kind of rooting for Brady to pull off the unexpected, in part because I think the Ravens can beat New England easily right now and the Titans are playing well, but it will be fun if we can beat them!

2020-01-04 13.45.17

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